Doctors over-prescribing ADHD meds: NYT

bunchofpillsThe New York Times has a devastating story about a family who lost their 24-year-old son to suicide after he became addicted to the prescription drug Adderall. The story calls into question doctors who skip established diagnostic procedures, renew prescriptions reflexively and spend too little time with patients to accurately monitor side effects, noting that highly-addictive medications like Adderall provide a tunnel-like focus that has led growing numbers of teenagers and young adults to fake symptoms to obtain steady prescriptions.

Nearly 14 million monthly prescriptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, were written for Americans ages 20 to 39 in 2011, two and a half times the 5.6 million just four years before, the article says.

Separately, a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry revealed a significantly higher prevalence of substance abuse and cigarette use by adolescents with ADHD, according to this article.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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One Response to Doctors over-prescribing ADHD meds: NYT

  1. Brandon Nield says:

    Academic difficulties are also frequent. The symptoms are especially difficult to define because it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and clinically significant levels requiring intervention begin. To be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be observed in two different settings for six months or more and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.

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